Obama to Visit Israel and West Bank Next Week
Sen. Barack Obama is headed to Israel and the West Bank next week:
U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama will visit Israel and the occupied West Bank next week, Israeli and Palestinian officials said on Monday. Obama will be in Israel on July 22 and 23 and hold talks with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, President Shimon Peres and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli official said.
Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat said Obama would also meet President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah next Wednesday.
Last month, Obama spoke to AIPAC and said Jerusalem should remain undivided.
in comments that dismayed Palestinian leaders, he said in the address that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided".
Yesterday, he backtracked and said he used poor phrasing when making that statement to AIPAC:
"You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech, and we immediately tried to correct the interpretation that was given," Obama said during an interview on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria - GPS."
... "The point we were simply making was, is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent," Obama said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria -- GPS" programme.
The Palestinians are glad Obama is visiting the West Bank.
Erekat said the Palestinians "welcome this meeting," and added that if he is elected US president, the Palestinians hope "he will stay the course between Israel and the Palestinians in reaching peace."
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